Irish Question, No. 17.]
OPINIONS OF EMINENT
MR. J. S. MILL ON HOME RULE.
" It is my conviction that the separation of Ireland from
Great Britain would be most undesirable for both, and that
the attempt to hold them together by any form of
federal union would be unsatisfactory while it lasted,
and would end either in reconquest or in com-
" For generations it is to be feared that the two nations-
would be either at war or in a chronic state of precarious
and armed peace, each constantly watching a probable
enemy so near at hand that in an instant they might be at
each other's throat. By this state of their relations it is>
almost superfluous to say that the poorer of the two coun-
tries would suffer most. To England it would be an incon-
venience ; to Ireland a public calamity, not only in the
way of direct burthen, but by the paralysing effect of a
general feeling of insecurity upon industrial energy and
" Let it not be supposed that I should regard either an
absolute or a qualified separation of the two coun-
tries otherwise than as a dishonour to one and a
serious misfortune to both."
"England and Ireland." By J. S. M,.:
MR. GOLDWIN SMITH ON HOME RULE.
"The words of a very true Liberal and a most accomplished man who
has lived a great deal in the United States and in Canada/' — Earl Selborne,
at Alton, May 5, 1886.
" The rupture of the Legislative Union and its inevitable
sequel, the carving of a hostile Irish Republic out of the
flank of the United Kingdom, would, as we believe, be fatal
to the power and greatness which are the common heritage
of our whole race. We shall bow our heads in shame
unutterable, and be unable again to look a foreigner in the
face, if Mr. Gladstone or any one else succeed in persuading
the nation to commit so foul, so dastardly, and at the same
time so suicidal a crime as the abandonment of the
Loyalists of Ireland."
MR. W. E- H. LECKY ON HOME RULE.
" To establish a Home Eule Parliament in Ireland at
present would be simply to give legislative powers to the
National League. . . . He did not know whether a
National League Parliament would be set up or not,
but if it was it would not last. It might be sur-
rounded by limitations, but sooner or later they would be
swept away by a declaration of rights, for which there was
an abundance of precedents in Irish history.. After the
establishment of such a Parliament the Irish Question
would become more intolerable than e*er. Give Homo
Rule and we must go further— either forwards to
absolute separation, or backwards probably to
the destruction of all Parliamentary represen-
tation; and whatever course -was taken, it would pr
be accompanied by bloodshed. Great nations could
humiliate themselves with impunity. If we OTUXexuL
the government of Ireland to rebels, it wouM
become known throughout Europe that the, old imperial
spirit of England had passed, that the days of tike Em]
were numbered, and that the handwriting was already
S})cech at Kensington, Menrh 17, 1SJ66.
MR. MATTHEW ARNOLD ON HOME RULE.
■;• A separate Parliament for Ireland is Mr. Gladstone'*
irreducible minimum. Ireland is a nation, says Mr. Panu U
menacingly, Mr. Stansfeld gushingly ; a nation should have
its national Parliament.
" Ireland has been a nation, a most unhappy one. Wales,
too, and Scotland, have been nations. But politically, they
are now nations no longer, any one of them. This country
could not have risen to its present greatness if they had
been. Give them separate Parliaments, and you begin, no
-doubt, to make them again nations politically ; but you
i>egiii also to undo what has made this country great."
Letter to the " Times;' May 22, 1886.
Published by the Liberal Committee for the Maintenance oi
Legislative Union between Great Britain and Ireland,
35; Spring Gardens, S.>V.